Whitehaven's Beacon Museum unveils £1.2m expansion plan

Artist's impression Initial designs include an extended museum gallery on the fourth floor

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Plans for a £1.2m development at a Cumbrian Museum previously under threat from council cuts have been unveiled.

The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven was earmarked for closure by Copeland Borough Council in 2012.

It reopened in May after being saved when nuclear company Sellafield agreed to run it jointly with the council.

The council said it wanted to "raise its profile" by expanding the museum's display space and attract touring exhibitions.

It is hoped funding for the plans will be secured from the Coastal Community Fund and the Copeland Community Fund.

Initial designs include an extended museum gallery on the fourth floor and a new conference and learning centre on part of the existing car park.

Artist's impression It is hoped the extension would operational by 2015

The Beacon, which opened in 1996, features art exhibitions and local history displays, and now has a floor dedicated to the "Sellafield Story".

If funding is approved, it is expected to cost about £1.2m, with building due to start in 2015.

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